DHS Renews Deal With Show-Boat Sheriff Arpaio

Human Rights

From America's Voice:


Controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, AZ, has told various local media outlets that he has signed a new agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and will continue participating in what is known as the 287(g) program.  If this claim is true – Arpaio has a history of dissembling and exaggerating, and DHS has been notably silent on what is transpiring – it is a deeply disturbing development. 

The 287(g) program was originally conceived as way for local police and federal immigration authorities to work together to apprehend those in the country without authorization who have committed serious crimes and are a danger to the community.  But under the Bush 287(g) program, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arpaio wannabes in other localities have been given a long leash to target ordinary immigrants living and working in the U.S. without immigration papers – people who may have violated federal, civil immigration laws, but are committing no crime.  Such excesses have turned a number of local communities into areas where immigrants – both those here legally and those here without papers – are terrorized in an apparent quest to drive them out of the jurisdiction.  They have created conflict with other policing agencies who are concerned about the impact on crime reporting when a portion of the community is afraid to work with the police. 

In Arpaio’s case, his heavy-handed sweeps of Latino neighborhoods have led to widespread fear, deep divisions in the community, 3,500 lawsuits, a U.S. Department of Justice civil rights investigation, and a nationwide reputation as the Bull Connor of our generation. 


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